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VoW 2019 | November 16 – 11:00 am to 11:50 am | |


Jiten Thakur [Chauraah], Satendra Kumar [Badalta Gaon Badalta Dehat] & Gyan Chaturvedi [Pagalkhana] in conversation with Kumudini Nautiyal | Chair: LS Bajpayee



It’s been 72 years since we, Indians, have gotten freedom from captivity and imperialism of the British. But we still speak the same language as they do. To speak English even today could be termed as a kind of Hegemony but it also helps us communicate globally. But there are still people who are not able to speak English properly in India and abroad. They are ashamed by this fact. But the other side of the coin is that they can speak their mother tongue or local language almost perfectly but are not given due respect. So it could be said that Hindi or any other regional language of India is given a backseat  while English drives the whole country.

An event named ‘Ujala Talashti Bastiyan: Hindi Lekhan mei India ki chamak damak se pare’ was held at VoW Litfest, Day 2, to talk about the social and educational issues affecting the present day population exceedingly. Three authors- Sri Jitendra Thakur, Sri Satendra Kumar and Dr. Gyan Chaturvedi- were invited to talk about their books titled- Chauraah, Badalta Gaon Badalta Dehat and Pagalkhaana respectively.

Smt. Kumudini Nautiyal, along with L S Bajpai, carried the whole event glibly and first interviewed Dr. Gyan Chaturvedi, who was honoured with the  award in 2015 by the Government of India. Gyan Chaturvedi was happy to see school students attending his session. He acknowledged the young group of people and informed that his book Pagalkhaana is actually a fantasy written in Hindi which talks about the exploits of Capitalism and how teenagers all over the world are its easy targets. The discussion also acknowledged the prevalent western culture of celebrating Valentine’s day, Friendship day, Father’s Day etc.

“When it’s Valentine’s day people and even my kids expect me to give my wife  at least a rose whereas I don’t feel the need to. I’m the man who also did a love marriage before all this was popularized but I don’t need a DAY to define our relationship. It’s not limited to a day.” Said Dr. Gyan Chaturvedi. “We live in a world where we see development all across and feel happy about it. But that is not my perception. I actually see unhappiness in this carefully crafted ‘Happy World.’ There’s actually a darkness surrounding all of us in this light of development called Bazaarwaad which is confusing a lot of people and manipulating too.”

“Then how do you define development? Do you think it’s detrimental?” Asked Smt. Nautiyal, addressing his viewpoint.

“See the idea of development is very problematic. This reminds me of a story of two lions- one was caged and the other one lived in a jungle. One day they met face to face. The caged lion asked the other lion ‘Tumhare Jungle mein road nhi bani?’ Other lion was shocked. He said, ‘Jahan road banti hai vahan hamara Jungle khatam ho jaata hai’. To address this very problem I have not given any names to the characters in my book because I don’t want this story to be limited just to India. I want it to be universal as capitalism is the problem of the whole world. It’s using us, we are not using it.”

The mic was then passed to Sri Satendra Kumar to talk about his book Badalta Gaon Badalta Dehat. He’s a professor at Allahabad University who got his PhD degree from DSE.

“From where did you get the inspiration for the title of your book?

I have taught a lot of graduates and post graduates and all that they study is secondary sources derived from the Western bent of mind. I don’t like it. I think it’s very backward. There are no books in Hindi to actually teach these students. This way I strongly believe that we are losing our tradition in writing in Hindi. I was actually very surprised when this book was shortlisted for this event.”

Satendra Kumar also pointed out certain problems arising from Globalisation. He said, that we are trying to become second rate American citizens and not even first rate. Upon asked about the future of Hindi written books he said: “I think it’s high time that we start giving more importance to our national literature to understand our society. We can’t copy and paste or use other country’s lekhan to understand ourselves.”

The students nodded their heads as if agreeing with him completely. Lastly, Jitendra Kumar spoke about his book Chauraah. Authors are constantly inspired by the happenings around them. They are empathetic creatures but Jitendra Kumar is an exception. Not only is he empathetic but he actually travelled long and wide to Jammu and Kashmir where he got the inspiration to write this very book.

“My book is based on four women living in a village in Jammu, leading hard lives. One woman was a sarpanch of the village but was terribly struggling to even get a one time meal for her kids and herself. Her husband was dead. To veil her suffering, whenever anybody visited her, she used to drop the curtain and feign to cook meat, ‘arre beta dekhna gate pe kaun hai, mein ghost (meat) paka rahi hoon’. In reality she was just stirring a big heating bowl full of water. The sight was very painful. As we were just talking about development, I just want to say one thing that is a man for development or development for man?”  Said he.

The event concluded with a consensus that ‘Lekhan’ or literature is very important to highlight the prevailing situation of our society and we must also prize all kinds of literature, especially Hindi, to understand our society more and work towards the improvement of current situations we snide at. Sprightly claps from the guests at the end proved the relatable accuracy and need of this event.

– Megha Chaudhary, St.Stephens

Session Images